The Sunday of the Resurrection (C):
Collect of the Day
God, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ overcame death and opened to
us the gate of everlasting life: Grant
that we, who celebrate the joy the day of the Lord’s resurrection, may be
raised from the death of sin by your life-giving Spirit; through Jesus Christ
our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and
for ever. Amen.
1st Reading: Isaiah 65:17-25
reading echoes two passages from earlier in the book, Isaiah 25:6-10 and
11:6-9. It is a grand apocalyptic vision of a renewed creation living fully
within the dream of God. This new creation hearkens back to Israel’s creation
myth with people living extraordinarily long lives and all the curses of life
accumulated over the years reversed (except for the serpent!). In Christian
terms, this is the resurrected life both for humanity and the whole creation.
65:17 [Thus says the Lord God], I am about
to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered
or come to mind. 18 But be glad and
rejoice forever in what I am creating; for I am about to create Jerusalem as a
joy, and its people as a delight. 19 I
will rejoice in Jerusalem, and delight in my people; no more shall the sound of
weeping be heard in it, or the cry of distress. 20
No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days,
or an old person who does not live out a lifetime; for one who dies at a
hundred years will be considered a youth, and one who falls short of a hundred
will be considered accursed. 21 They
shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their
fruit. 22 They shall not build and
another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for like the days of a
tree shall the days of my people be, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of
their hands. 23 They shall not
labor in vain, or bear children for calamity; for they shall be offspring
blessed by the Lord—and their
descendants as well. 24 Before they
call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear. 25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,
the lion shall eat straw like the ox; but the serpent—its food shall be dust!
They shall not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain, says the Lord.
1st Reading: Acts 10:34-43
is an ancient tradition to read from The Acts of the Apostles during Eastertide.
At this point in the story, the apostle Peter has had a strange dream in which
a voice had told him “What God has made clean, you must not call profane.” At
the same time, a Roman Centurion named Cornelius had a dream to seek out Peter
and invite him to his home. When Peter arrives, Cornelius, a Gentile, welcomes
him, and Peter begins to speak, which is today’s reading. Immediately after this,
the Holy Spirit falls down on Cornelius and his family, and the Jesus movement
makes a major advance—the Gentiles will be as welcome in this movement as Jews.
The speech contains an accusation that “the people of Israel . . . put him to
death by hanging him on a tree.” We know the story is more complicated than
that. It was certain Jewish religious authorities who goaded Pilate to send
Jesus to a Roman-executed death.
10:34 Then Peter began to speak to [Cornelius
and his household]: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation anyone who fears him
and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36 You
know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus
Christ—he is Lord of all. 37 That
message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John
announced: 38 how God anointed
Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good
and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39 We are witnesses to all that he did both in
Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; 40 but God raised him on the third day and
allowed him to appear, 41 not to
all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and
drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He
commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained
by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All
the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives
forgiveness of sins through his name.”
118 has long been associated with Holy Week and Easter. Thanksgiving for God’s “steadfast love” is
the overall theme. Verses 14-24 have so
long been associated with Easter that it is hard to imagine them in anything
other context than the resurrection of Jesus.
The “cornerstone” verse is used by Jesus in Mark (12:10) and Matthew (21:42)
and by Peter in Acts (4:11).
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; *
his mercy endures for ever.
2 Let Israel now proclaim, *
“His mercy endures for ever.”
14 The Lord is my strength and my song, *
and he has become my salvation.
15 There is a sound of exultation and victory *
in the tents of the righteous:
16 “The right hand of the Lord has triumphed! *
the right hand of the Lord is exalted!
the right hand of the Lord has triumphed!”
17 I shall not die, but live, *
and declare the works of the Lord.
18 The Lord has punished me sorely, *
but he did not hand me over to death.
19 Open for me the gates of righteousness; *
I will enter them; I will offer thanks to the Lord.
20 “This is the gate of the Lord; *
he who is righteous may enter.”
21 I will give thanks to you, for you answered me *
and have become my salvation.
22 The same stone which the builders rejected *
has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord’s doing, *
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 On this day the Lord has acted; *
we will rejoice and be glad in it.
2nd Reading: Acts 10:34-43 (as above)
2nd Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:19-26
Chapter 15 of 1 Corinthians, Paul speaks about his understanding of the
resurrection. Paul begins the chapter by reminding them of what he has taught
(15:3-11). In verses 12-19, he argues
for the resurrection by use of logic. Todays’ reading is his grand summary,
putting the resurrection in the context of the whole story of God. Even Paul,
however, cannot escape the reality that believers still die, and so he
declares, “The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” The destruction of death is
seen by many Christians as the great purpose of the death and resurrection of
15:19 If for this life only we have hoped
in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. 20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the
first fruits of those who have died. 21 For
since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also
come through a human being; 22 for
as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first
fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he hands over the
kingdom to God the Father, after he has destroyed every ruler and every
authority and power. 25 For he must
reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
Gospel Reading: John 20:1-18
all four Gospels, it is women who are the first witnesses to the empty tomb,
chief among them Mary Magdalene. In the Eastern Orthodox tradition, Mary is
accorded the title “apostle” because of this. Did Mary not recognize Jesus
because his resurrection body was quite different? Or is he “disguised” as the
gardener? Or is she still in shock? We do not know. What we do know is that the
sound of his voice calling her name triggers her recognition.
20:1 Early on the first day of the week,
while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone
had been removed from the tomb. 2 So
she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus
loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do
not know where they have laid him.” 3 Then
Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. 4 The two were running together, but the other
disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5
He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there,
but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon
Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings
lying there, 7 and the cloth that
had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a
place by itself. 8 Then the other
disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9 for as yet they did not understand the
scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then
the disciples returned to their homes. 11 But
Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into
the tomb; 12 and she saw two angels
in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and
the other at the feet. 13 They said
to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away
my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 When she had said this, she turned around
and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?
Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir,
if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take
him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!”
She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me,
because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to
them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the
disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things
Gospel Reading: Luke 24:1-12
is no story of the resurrection available to us, only that of the discovery of
the empty tomb. The four Gospel writers
all agree the first witnesses to the empty tomb were women, chief among them
Mary Magdalene. In the Eastern Orthodox tradition, Mary is accorded the title
“apostle.” Luke adds the names of Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and
“the other women,” presumably those identified at Luke 8:1 as having been among
Jesus’ followers and who “provided for them out of their resources.” Only Luke
adds the detail that the [male] disciples did not believe the women when they
told of their discovery.
24:1 But on the first day of the week, at
early dawn, [the women] came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared.
2 They found the stone rolled away
from the tomb, 3 but when they went
in, they did not find the body. 4 While
they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside
them. 5 The women were terrified
and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look
for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. 6 Remember how he told you, while he was still
in Galilee, 7 that ‘the Son of Man
must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise
again.’” 8 Then they remembered his
words, 9 and returning from the
tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the
mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But these words seemed to them an idle
tale, and they did not believe them. 12 But
Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen
cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.
Scripture quotations (except for the psalm) are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 by the Division
of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the
U.S.A. Al rights reserved. The Collect
of the Day and the Psalm translation are from The Book of Common Prayer. Commentaries
are copyright © 2022 Epiphany ESources, 67 E. Main St., Hornell, NY 14843. www.EpiphanyEsources.com. All rights
reserved. Permission is granted to copy for
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